I've spent so much time baking bread from Peter Reinhart's book The Bread Baker's Apprentice as part of the the BBA Challenge that I've had little time to explore the bread in his new book, Artisan Breads Every Day, although I've had a copy since it it first came out last Fall. (I also have his Whole Grain Breads book which is fabulous.) When my friend Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook asked me if I wanted to bake the Crispy Rye and Seed Crackers from the new book I jumped at the chance to join her. As circumstances would have it, we couldn't find a convenient time to bake at the same time, and I think Di might not have ended up making the crackers.
- I won my copy of Reinhart's new book in a giveaway sponsored by Jude of the blog Apple Pie, Patis, and Pate. Thanks, Jude! Although his blog has been on hiatus for several months, check the archives for some beautiful bread and other foods.
- You can find the recipe for these crackers here. There is no leaven at all in this recipe, but I'm including it on my bread blog because it came out of Reinhart's bread book. Makes sense to me.
- The cracker dough has several kinds of seeds, which are combined with rye flour. I ground the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in my spice blender. Instead of grinding flax seeds, I used flax meal that I had in the fridge (it keeps much longer there).
- I mixed my dough in the food processor (surprise!). It was a bit sticky, so I added more rye flour, about a tablespoon or 2.
- Instead of a floured counter, I kneaded the dough on an oiled counter.
- Using a straight edge for a guide I cut half of my crackers into diamond shapes, as Reinhart does in the book - and as NPR did in the recipe link above. (I gave away all of the diamond-shaped ones and later realized that I forgot to take any photos of them.) The other half I cut with a dinosaur-shaped cookie cutter. Why dinosaurs? Why not??
- I topped my crackers with salt for garnish. I was a little too exuberant with the salt, but luckily it was quite easy to brush off the excess after the crackers were baked.
- The crackers that turned out the best were the ones that I rolled very thin and then baked until they were browned and crisp.
These made a surprisingly big splash at my book group meeting. They tasted a lot like Wheat Thins, but in a rye-ish kind of way. All in all, a nice savory cracker and a very cool way to incorporate whole grains.